it's about more than the basics

November 21, 2019

notes

     Our favorite advisor gave us this guideline when we started Uphill Designs: A consumer product business needs to focus on four areas: Product, Operations, Sales, and Marketing. Simple. Straightforward. Nice & Tidy.  POSM - company survival packed into one easy acronym. We dig it. To survive, you need the basics - Food, Water, Shelter, Air. A little like POSM. But that’s not enough, right? We need a little beauty. Sometimes it's in the form of nature, sometimes in the form of a painting. Here’s our thing - when discussing our basics of survival, we add a little ’B’ representing our connection to beauty, to nature. BFWIS rolls right off the tongue, yes? Okay, no, it doesn't, but it doesn't matter. The point is that without NATURE you’re not hiking, you're going for a hard walk. Without BEAUTY, life's experiences fall flat.

     So thank you awesome advisor, we still love you but, we're gonna rewind & write our own rules. Yes, for companies to survive, we agree POSM is a great framework. Butttttttttt. Le's write in a little ‘A’ to the beginning of that for AESTHETIC. And voilà, I present to you: APOSM. And just like that little nocturnal animal, it's still pronounced the same because aesthetic is that little silent, overlooked vowel that is doing all the work behind the scenes.  We define is as the design intention behind a product, the intention behind each step of a company’s operations, the feeling evoked when selling, and the story shared through marketing. Aesthetic is the reason for a company’s existence and it cannot be faked -  either every step of every piece of the company builds connection for the humans it serves or it does not.

Aesthetic = the sum of human connection created between experience and experiencer - between company and consumer.

     The only thing that changes when you go from the trail to city is that Manhattan is made with sweet vermouth instead of Swedish fish (hey, Mal here, you don't get to judge until you've walked 20 miles in my blistered feet). The things that keep us alive in the outdoors serve our connection to Nature, which feeds our soul. If we’re going to be in close quarters living a constructed city life, why use goods that disconnect us from others, that don't feed our soul? When a product, a message, a relationship doesn’t have heart, you feel it - viscerally.  Heart embodies itself in Uphill Designs through the practice and sharing of our Art and our Craft.

     Art is an act of creation, of pulling a new idea, process, or product design into realityCraft is an action of the love of process - of caring about every stitch, every image, every word, every interaction. It’s our way of sharing the art. Both what a company produces and how it produces it are experiences that are felt and shared, whether they are acknowledged or not. Human connection cannot be faked. We all know it - even if we ignore the fact for the sake of convenience. Starting a physical goods company under the APOSM  guidelines, we knew technical design and manufacturing might be our foundation and our way to cash flow, but human connection was the heart. The beauty of humans is our ability to connect and understand one another and just because this deep pull is a little more murky than the purity of nature doesn’t mean it is not necessary for our souls.

     Our favorite advisor gave us this guideline when we started Uphill Designs: A consumer product business needs to focus on four areas: Product, Operations, Sales, and Marketing. Simple. Straightforward. Nice & Tidy.  POSM - company survival packed into one easy acronym. We dig it. To survive, you need the basics - Food, Water, Shelter, Air. A little like POSM. But that’s not enough, right? We need a little beauty. Sometimes it's in the form of nature, sometimes in the form of a painting. Here’s our thing - when discussing our basics of survival, we add a little ’B’ representing our connection to beauty, to nature. BFWIS rolls right off the tongue, yes? Okay, no, it doesn't, but it doesn't matter. The point is that without NATURE you’re not hiking, you're going for a hard walk. Without BEAUTY, life's experiences fall flat.

     So thank you awesome advisor, we still love you but, we're gonna rewind & write our own rules. Yes, for companies to survive, we agree POSM is a great framework. Butttttttttt. Le's write in a little ‘A’ to the beginning of that for AESTHETIC. And voilà, I present to you: APOSM. And just like that little nocturnal animal, it's still pronounced the same because aesthetic is that little silent, overlooked vowel that is doing all the work behind the scenes.  We define is as the design intention behind a product, the intention behind each step of a company’s operations, the feeling evoked when selling, and the story shared through marketing. Aesthetic is the reason for a company’s existence and it cannot be faked -  either every step of every piece of the company builds connection for the humans it serves or it does not.

Aesthetic = the sum of human connection created between experience and experiencer - between company and consumer.

     The only thing that changes when you go from the trail to city is that Manhattan is made with sweet vermouth instead of Swedish fish (hey, Mal here, you don't get to judge until you've walked 20 miles in my blistered feet). The things that keep us alive in the outdoors serve our connection to Nature, which feeds our soul. If we’re going to be in close quarters living a constructed city life, why use goods that disconnect us from others, that don't feed our soul? When a product, a message, a relationship doesn’t have heart, you feel it - viscerally.  Heart embodies itself in Uphill Designs through the practice and sharing of our Art and our Craft.

     Art is an act of creation, of pulling a new idea, process, or product design into realityCraft is an action of the love of process - of caring about every stitch, every image, every word, every interaction. It’s our way of sharing the art. Both what a company produces and how it produces it are experiences that are felt and shared, whether they are acknowledged or not. Human connection cannot be faked. We all know it - even if we ignore the fact for the sake of convenience. Starting a physical goods company under the APOSM  guidelines, we knew technical design and manufacturing might be our foundation and our way to cash flow, but human connection was the heart. The beauty of humans is our ability to connect and understand one another and just because this deep pull is a little more murky than the purity of nature doesn’t mean it is not necessary for our souls.

     That’s why Art and Craft are built into our core philosophy and drive the creation of our class offering, our new designs, our daily interactions with the humans who walk into our workshop. We feel these values are vital to survival. In the outdoors, the beauty of nature and the connection to it that makes every moment in the outdoors worth the difficult, painful experiences- it turns survival into thriving. Why would our daily lives be any different?

     At our core we’re built for this - to create understanding and connection through shared experience and we thrive when we connect to companies that care. I know I don’t experience joy when I buy something off of Amazon. I've heard people go so far as to say “a little piece of me dies”. Obviously an exaggeration, but also….is it? What is happening here, when we make the choice to vote with our dollars and time for goods and experiences that don’t care for us in return? Why do we let ourselves do things that kill that part of us, even if it's just figuratively. Care about the things and the people you touch - that’s heart. We can nurture this by turning small, necessary choices into acts of connection and care.

     Seattle's Ballard West neighborhood, the area between 24th & Market and the Ballard Locks, is home to a magical vintage shop, a national museum, a family-owned lumber yard, a fire station-turned coffeehouse, Seattle's top brunch destination, a sailor-frequented dive bar, and yours truly - a handcrafted heritage leather shop. This is how the heart of our local communities is created - when places beckon for us to pay attention and rest awhile precisely because each offering is curated with care from the dreams and intentions of the local owners.

     In May of 2019, the City of Seattle began tearing up Ballard's NW Market Street - the start of a 2-year construction project to make improvements to a mile stretch of aging road. Six months later, the eyes of the City watched as the Ballard fire ravaged 4 local businesses. Now, the sight of torn up streets, burnt-out buildings, no support or communication from the City, and over a year of construction remaining has left our local core of a dozen small businesses at a complete loss. Small, independent businesses like ours bring art and craft to the community and are the cornerstones of unique neighborhood cultures. These are places of community for us to meet, to blend, to connect, to fall in love, to dissolve hurt and pain - to live. This precious resource is on the verge of getting pushed out. This is a story as old as progress, but this time we believe there’s a better story to be told. Let's tell this one, together.

     Over the past few months, because of the construction issues (which I’m still stubbornly referring to as a blessing in disguise) we really started to figure out why we do what we do and why we want to keep doing it. It’s about more than making beautiful leather bags. We are feel like we are doing our best work - our best work in the products we create (hellooo CARTER duffel!), in sharing our values, and in showing up for others. Pursuing a larger purpose to not just nurture art and craft within our own workshop, but with and for others who are doing the same.

     On December 1st at the National Nordic Museum we will be hosting a blowout benefit concert from 6-10 PM. It will be an evening of live music, talks from community members, high-end raffle prizes from local businesses, and bites and drinks. Find out more about attending the event, share, or donate directly.

Art and Craft are not a luxury, they are the heart and soul of a community. Let’s change the narrative and tell this story, together.

We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out. — Ray Bradbury


     That’s why Art and Craft are built into our core philosophy and drive the creation of our class offering, our new designs, our daily interactions with the humans who walk into our workshop. We feel these values are vital to survival. In the outdoors, the beauty of nature and the connection to it that makes every moment in the outdoors worth the difficult, painful experiences- it turns survival into thriving. Why would our daily lives be any different?

     At our core we’re built for this - to create understanding and connection through shared experience and we thrive when we connect to companies that care. I know I don’t experience joy when I buy something off of Amazon. I've heard people go so far as to say “a little piece of me dies”. Obviously an exaggeration, but also….is it? What is happening here, when we make the choice to vote with our dollars and time for goods and experiences that don’t care for us in return? Why do we let ourselves do things that kill that part of us, even if it's just figuratively. Care about the things and the people you touch - that’s heart. We can nurture this by turning small, necessary choices into acts of connection and care.

     Seattle's Ballard West neighborhood, the area between 24th & Market and the Ballard Locks, is home to a magical vintage shop, a national museum, a family-owned lumber yard, a fire station-turned coffeehouse, Seattle's top brunch destination, a sailor-frequented dive bar, and yours truly - a handcrafted heritage leather shop. This is how the heart of our local communities is created - when places beckon for us to pay attention and rest awhile precisely because each offering is curated with care from the dreams and intentions of the local owners.

     In May of 2019, the City of Seattle began tearing up Ballard's NW Market Street - the start of a 2-year construction project to make improvements to a mile stretch of aging road. Six months later, the eyes of the City watched as the Ballard fire ravaged 4 local businesses. Now, the sight of torn up streets, burnt-out buildings, no support or communication from the City, and over a year of construction remaining has left our local core of a dozen small businesses at a complete loss. Small, independent businesses like ours bring art and craft to the community and are the cornerstones of unique neighborhood cultures. These are places of community for us to meet, to blend, to connect, to fall in love, to dissolve hurt and pain - to live. This precious resource is on the verge of getting pushed out. This is a story as old as progress, but this time we believe there’s a better story to be told. Let's tell this one, together.

     Over the past few months, because of the construction issues (which I’m still stubbornly referring to as a blessing in disguise) we really started to figure out why we do what we do and why we want to keep doing it. It’s about more than making beautiful leather bags. We are feel like we are doing our best work - our best work in the products we create (hellooo CARTER duffel!), in sharing our values, and in showing up for others. Pursuing a larger purpose to not just nurture art and craft within our own workshop, but with and for others who are doing the same.

     On December 1st at the National Nordic Museum we will be hosting a blowout benefit concert from 6-10 PM. It will be an evening of live music, talks from community members, high-end raffle prizes from local businesses, and bites and drinks. Find out more about attending the event, share, or donate directly.

Art and Craft are not a luxury, they are the heart and soul of a community. Let’s change the narrative and tell this story, together.

We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out. — Ray Bradbury


learn more about taking a class

it's about more than the basics

November 21, 2019

notes

     Our favorite advisor gave us this guideline when we started Uphill Designs: A consumer product business needs to focus on four areas: Product, Operations, Sales, and Marketing. Simple. Straightforward. Nice & Tidy.  POSM - company survival packed into one easy acronym. We dig it. To survive, you need the basics - Food, Water, Shelter, Air. A little like POSM. But that’s not enough, right? We need a little beauty. Sometimes it's in the form of nature, sometimes in the form of a painting. Here’s our thing - when discussing our basics of survival, we add a little ’B’ representing our connection to beauty, to nature. BFWIS rolls right off the tongue, yes? Okay, no, it doesn't, but it doesn't matter. The point is that without NATURE you’re not hiking, you're going for a hard walk. Without BEAUTY, life's experiences fall flat.

     So thank you awesome advisor, we still love you but, we're gonna rewind & write our own rules. Yes, for companies to survive, we agree POSM is a great framework. Butttttttttt. Le's write in a little ‘A’ to the beginning of that for AESTHETIC. And voilà, I present to you: APOSM. And just like that little nocturnal animal, it's still pronounced the same because aesthetic is that little silent, overlooked vowel that is doing all the work behind the scenes.  We define is as the design intention behind a product, the intention behind each step of a company’s operations, the feeling evoked when selling, and the story shared through marketing. Aesthetic is the reason for a company’s existence and it cannot be faked -  either every step of every piece of the company builds connection for the humans it serves or it does not.

Aesthetic = the sum of human connection created between experience and experiencer - between company and consumer.

     The only thing that changes when you go from the trail to city is that Manhattan is made with sweet vermouth instead of Swedish fish (hey, Mal here, you don't get to judge until you've walked 20 miles in my blistered feet). The things that keep us alive in the outdoors serve our connection to Nature, which feeds our soul. If we’re going to be in close quarters living a constructed city life, why use goods that disconnect us from others, that don't feed our soul? When a product, a message, a relationship doesn’t have heart, you feel it - viscerally.  Heart embodies itself in Uphill Designs through the practice and sharing of our Art and our Craft.

     Art is an act of creation, of pulling a new idea, process, or product design into realityCraft is an action of the love of process - of caring about every stitch, every image, every word, every interaction. It’s our way of sharing the art. Both what a company produces and how it produces it are experiences that are felt and shared, whether they are acknowledged or not. Human connection cannot be faked. We all know it - even if we ignore the fact for the sake of convenience. Starting a physical goods company under the APOSM  guidelines, we knew technical design and manufacturing might be our foundation and our way to cash flow, but human connection was the heart. The beauty of humans is our ability to connect and understand one another and just because this deep pull is a little more murky than the purity of nature doesn’t mean it is not necessary for our souls.

     That’s why Art and Craft are built into our core philosophy and drive the creation of our class offering, our new designs, our daily interactions with the humans who walk into our workshop. We feel these values are vital to survival. In the outdoors, the beauty of nature and the connection to it that makes every moment in the outdoors worth the difficult, painful experiences- it turns survival into thriving. Why would our daily lives be any different?

     At our core we’re built for this - to create understanding and connection through shared experience and we thrive when we connect to companies that care. I know I don’t experience joy when I buy something off of Amazon. I've heard people go so far as to say “a little piece of me dies”. Obviously an exaggeration, but also….is it? What is happening here, when we make the choice to vote with our dollars and time for goods and experiences that don’t care for us in return? Why do we let ourselves do things that kill that part of us, even if it's just figuratively. Care about the things and the people you touch - that’s heart. We can nurture this by turning small, necessary choices into acts of connection and care.

     Seattle's Ballard West neighborhood, the area between 24th & Market and the Ballard Locks, is home to a magical vintage shop, a national museum, a family-owned lumber yard, a fire station-turned coffeehouse, Seattle's top brunch destination, a sailor-frequented dive bar, and yours truly - a handcrafted heritage leather shop. This is how the heart of our local communities is created - when places beckon for us to pay attention and rest awhile precisely because each offering is curated with care from the dreams and intentions of the local owners.

     In May of 2019, the City of Seattle began tearing up Ballard's NW Market Street - the start of a 2-year construction project to make improvements to a mile stretch of aging road. Six months later, the eyes of the City watched as the Ballard fire ravaged 4 local businesses. Now, the sight of torn up streets, burnt-out buildings, no support or communication from the City, and over a year of construction remaining has left our local core of a dozen small businesses at a complete loss. Small, independent businesses like ours bring art and craft to the community and are the cornerstones of unique neighborhood cultures. These are places of community for us to meet, to blend, to connect, to fall in love, to dissolve hurt and pain - to live. This precious resource is on the verge of getting pushed out. This is a story as old as progress, but this time we believe there’s a better story to be told. Let's tell this one, together.

     Over the past few months, because of the construction issues (which I’m still stubbornly referring to as a blessing in disguise) we really started to figure out why we do what we do and why we want to keep doing it. It’s about more than making beautiful leather bags. We are feel like we are doing our best work - our best work in the products we create (hellooo CARTER duffel!), in sharing our values, and in showing up for others. Pursuing a larger purpose to not just nurture art and craft within our own workshop, but with and for others who are doing the same.

     On December 1st at the National Nordic Museum we will be hosting a blowout benefit concert from 6-10 PM. It will be an evening of live music, talks from community members, high-end raffle prizes from local businesses, and bites and drinks. Find out more about attending the event, share, or donate directly.

Art and Craft are not a luxury, they are the heart and soul of a community. Let’s change the narrative and tell this story, together.

We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out. — Ray Bradbury


     That’s why Art and Craft are built into our core philosophy and drive the creation of our class offering, our new designs, our daily interactions with the humans who walk into our workshop. We feel these values are vital to survival. In the outdoors, the beauty of nature and the connection to it that makes every moment in the outdoors worth the difficult, painful experiences- it turns survival into thriving. Why would our daily lives be any different?

     At our core we’re built for this - to create understanding and connection through shared experience and we thrive when we connect to companies that care. I know I don’t experience joy when I buy something off of Amazon. I've heard people go so far as to say “a little piece of me dies”. Obviously an exaggeration, but also….is it? What is happening here, when we make the choice to vote with our dollars and time for goods and experiences that don’t care for us in return? Why do we let ourselves do things that kill that part of us, even if it's just figuratively. Care about the things and the people you touch - that’s heart. We can nurture this by turning small, necessary choices into acts of connection and care.

     Seattle's Ballard West neighborhood, the area between 24th & Market and the Ballard Locks, is home to a magical vintage shop, a national museum, a family-owned lumber yard, a fire station-turned coffeehouse, Seattle's top brunch destination, a sailor-frequented dive bar, and yours truly - a handcrafted heritage leather shop. This is how the heart of our local communities is created - when places beckon for us to pay attention and rest awhile precisely because each offering is curated with care from the dreams and intentions of the local owners.

     In May of 2019, the City of Seattle began tearing up Ballard's NW Market Street - the start of a 2-year construction project to make improvements to a mile stretch of aging road. Six months later, the eyes of the City watched as the Ballard fire ravaged 4 local businesses. Now, the sight of torn up streets, burnt-out buildings, no support or communication from the City, and over a year of construction remaining has left our local core of a dozen small businesses at a complete loss. Small, independent businesses like ours bring art and craft to the community and are the cornerstones of unique neighborhood cultures. These are places of community for us to meet, to blend, to connect, to fall in love, to dissolve hurt and pain - to live. This precious resource is on the verge of getting pushed out. This is a story as old as progress, but this time we believe there’s a better story to be told. Let's tell this one, together.

     Over the past few months, because of the construction issues (which I’m still stubbornly referring to as a blessing in disguise) we really started to figure out why we do what we do and why we want to keep doing it. It’s about more than making beautiful leather bags. We are feel like we are doing our best work - our best work in the products we create (hellooo CARTER duffel!), in sharing our values, and in showing up for others. Pursuing a larger purpose to not just nurture art and craft within our own workshop, but with and for others who are doing the same.

     On December 1st at the National Nordic Museum we will be hosting a blowout benefit concert from 6-10 PM. It will be an evening of live music, talks from community members, high-end raffle prizes from local businesses, and bites and drinks. Find out more about attending the event, share, or donate directly.

Art and Craft are not a luxury, they are the heart and soul of a community. Let’s change the narrative and tell this story, together.

We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out. — Ray Bradbury


learn more about taking a class